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Children should not be ‘sent into the wilderness’ 

The Education Committee has published its report into Residential children's homes, which says that ‘Children in care should be found residential homes in their own areas and local authorities should ensure that they have enough suitable placements to make this possible’.

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Results Based Accountability in the Public Sector - How to Produce Measurable Improvements for Customers, Citizens and Communities

A recent Centre for Social Government report, ‘Outcome-Based Government’ argues that a core aim of government is to improve social outcomes; yet for most government expenditure the real value of outcomes is rarely considered or even understood.

What is Results Based Accountability?

Results Based AccountabilityTM (RBA), also known as Outcomes Based AccountabilityTM(OBA), offers a common sense approach to outcome-based thinking to help enhance the well-being of populations and drive the improved performance and efficiency of public services.

RBA therefore enables government organisations to answer these key questions:

  • What are the quality of life conditions that we want for our communities?
  • Is what we are doing having a positive impact on our customers?

This latest ebook, An Introduction to Results Based Accountability, discusses how RBA enables organisations and partnerships to prioritise their effort and expenditure on the delivery of results that make a measurable difference to their citizens and stakeholder communities.

Click here to download your free copy now.

‘Man shall not live by bread alone’

A report that looks at how the arts, culture & historic environment can boost attainment, skills, pride in community and social inclusion has been launched in Swansea.  Written by Baroness Kay Andrews OBE, the report examines how cultural & heritage organisations can work closer together in order to help tackle poverty.  It also outlines how bodies can develop stronger links with anti-poverty schemes such as the Welsh Government’s Communities First programme.

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A more decentralised NHS

Redesigning services around patients in the community and having staff who can make crucial clinical decisions to keep people at home should be explored as options for reducing pressures on NHS urgent & emergency care services.  The suggestions are part of a package of recommendations from the NHS Confederation's Urgent and Emergency Care Forum in a new report published last week

Ripping off the sticking plaster is a response to Sir Bruce Keogh's review of urgent and emergency care.  It calls for an end to 'sticking plaster solutions' and to shift focus to solutions that will last into the longer term.  Fundamental change is needed and the problems of emergency care cannot be tackled by NHS organisations working in isolation, the report says.

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To extrapolate an old saying: ‘Lies, damned lies, statistics and political interpretations of financial forecasts

On the one hand: ‘New analysis shows the Scottish Government’s deficit forecast is £bns out of step with all other recent forecasts.  Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said this was further evidence that Scottish Government Ministers will say anything to try and win the independence referendum’.

On the other: ‘The 2012-13 Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report, which estimates levels of tax and spending in Scotland, demonstrates that, including a geographical share of North Sea oil and gas, tax revenues in Scotland were £800 higher per head compared to the UK in 2012-13’.

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Cyber security skills could lead to securing employment

With the cost for a cyber-security breach increasing all the time for businesses & organisations, the government is looking at new ways to protect them and make the UK more resilient to cyber-attacks & crime.  It is also looking at ways to introduce cyber security skills to a younger generation as early as possible.

The ‘Cyber security skills: business perspectives and government’s next steps’ report includes plans to provide training for teachers to enable them to teach pupils about cyber security.  Support will also be offered to universities that devise innovative proposals to improve cyber security teaching; a new internship scheme will help provide students with the work experience employers are looking for.

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Break out the confetti

Same sex couples in England & Wales wishing to be among the first to marry are being reminded that they have been able to give notice to their local register office as from 13 March 2014.  For most marriages or civil partnerships you must give at least 16 days’ notice at your local register office.  To give formal notice you should contact your local register office and make an appointment.  There might be different rules for religious ceremonies.

Same sex couples who married abroad under foreign law and are currently treated as civil partners have been recognised as being married in England & Wales as from 13 March 2014.

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Click & check it’s free BEFORE proceeding 

As the government prepares to help Trading Standards tackle 'copycat' websites that charge people to fill out official forms, Citizens Advice has revealed it advises people on 1,700 cases of these rogue traders a year.

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North, South, East & West; all have a chance to win

Everyday someone comes up with a great idea to make their community a better place but all too often those ideas never take form – lacking the money & support to turn the dream into a reality.  The People’s Millions could change that and best of all, the decision will not be made by a committee behind closed doors but the public will help decide the winners.  If you feel passionate about making a difference in your community and have an idea that just won’t go away, the Big Lottery Fund wants to hear from you.

The People’s Millions is an annual TV competition run by Big Lottery Fund and ITV which awards National Lottery funding to community projects that will improve the lives of local people. This year there are 4 awards of up to £50,000 on offer in each of the 19 ITV regional news areas across the UK.  Deadline for completed entries is 12 noon on Monday 16 May 2014.

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Historical Records don’t discriminate

The National Archives is offering 2 bursaries to support candidates in gaining a qualification to help them enter the archives sector.  The bursary will provide financial support and help to address the socio-economic barriers to entry that may exist for some candidates.  They would therefore particularly welcome applications from BAME and disabled applicants.

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Not likely to make one ‘feel better’

NHS prescription charge in England will increase by 20p from £7.85 to £8.05 for each quantity of a drug or appliance from 1 April 2014.  It is also intended that the single charge will increase by 20p to £8.25 in the following year.

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Getting children animated about road safety

An animated cartoon mascot created by Aardman studios will help teach children about staying safe on the road.  Horace the dog was created for the launch of a national competition being run by the RAC in which schoolchildren will create their own road safety animations.  It is open to school children aged 4 to 16 and entry is via the website, which contains links to a comprehensive range of teaching resources.  The competition closes on 4 July 2014.

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Out of this world suggestions required 

Tim Peake needs help to name his 6 month mission into space, the first visit by a British astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS).   Competition closes 4 April 2014.

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Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive  

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